Handheld GPS for Monomoys & South Beach etc - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:41 AM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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Handheld GPS for Monomoys & South Beach etc

I am looking at buying a garmin etrex venture - do I need a topo map or is map software pointless because of the shifting structure ?

if so I may go for the basic model (even though the tackle tart in me says buy the downloadble/colour one )

thanks

Mark.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:07 AM
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striblue striblue is offline
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Mark, I have used the Legend Etrex and you don't need the Topo...Topo's are good for hiking in woods where you can get reception and Bikers use that. The key is to set waypoints...because with the shifting sands as you say it does not help, plus... since you have been down there so much it doesn't matter.... Waypoint checkpoints are key to move from high bar to high bar in the event of a fog or even on incoming where channels get too deep on the way back. Also, marking fishing lanes is good especially with the changing tides....... marking holes at low tide on the beach side is also very helpful when going back at high with a basically contourless beach. ( But again, you can usually remember the holes by upper beach formations.... but it is helpful to get right in the spot without guess work). PS. what is more helpful was getting the street map which I don't need now with a larger car GPS.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:50 PM
JimW JimW is offline
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The topo won't do you much good on the shifting sands but if you decide to get in a yak it's a fantastic tool. I use the same model as John.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:09 PM
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The GPS helps very much in Fog.... the only real danger at North Monomoy or the inside of South beach... is that although you might be ok in Fog on the outgoing, (or incoming) It's not direction you need to be careful about , it's the clam outboards that cruise in at a good clip to their clamming flats. They can be on you in a second. If you are fishing alone that's one thing, but I remember fishing with 2 other guys and a clam boat spotted one guy at the last second....veered out of his way, only to miss the other guy by 2 feet. Just something to be careful about despite the comfort a GPS gives you.... walking out on an outgoing tide in heavy fog, with your trusty GPS, leaves to other issues. The Clammers start off to their locations on the outgoing.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by striblue
The GPS helps very much in Fog.... the only real danger at North Monomoy or the inside of South beach... is that although you might be ok in Fog on the outgoing, (or incoming) It's not direction you need to be careful about , it's the clam outboards that cruise in at a good clip to their clamming flats. They can be on you in a second. If you are fishing alone that's one thing, but I remember fishing with 2 other guys and a clam boat spotted one guy at the last second....veered out of his way, only to miss the other guy by 2 feet. Just something to be careful about despite the comfort a GPS gives you.... walking out on an outgoing tide in heavy fog, with your trusty GPS, leaves to other issues. The Clammers start off to their locations on the outgoing.

Youch! Sounds like another item (smallest size airhorn) for the wading pack.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:03 PM
Rip Ryder Rip Ryder is offline
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Save your Money

I wouldn't spend the extra money for the topo. Even my C-Map NT charts don't ahave an accurate lay of the land on my color Chart plotter. C-Map upgrades their charts every couple of years, and I got the latest one last year, and it still shows southbeach as it was back in 1987. Plus with all the changes happening and still to come, you will never really have an accurate map of the islands.

Capt Keith
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:49 PM
Paxton Paxton is offline
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Mark...I did a lot of research last yr prior to purchasing a Garmin GPS 60. After getting stuck in a quick occuring fog 3 yrs ago on NM, I decided that if SB is dead now from late June on and my basic flats option is NM...I needed a GPS.
By the way...a clammer saved me.
On NM...a compass does little good due to holes and throughs.....maping is a waste as said previously.
The Garmin GPS 60 doesn't have all the bells and whistles but is has everything that I would need it for and costs only $175.
It's water proof (3 ft of water for up to 30 min of submersion)....has external antena for better reception, LED lighting if dark/fog, can mark up to 500 way points and has tracking features (also compas etc).
It doesn't have much memory for maps, but you can remove the "world map" it comes with (which is useless) and replace it with one of any state you want.
If flats fishing and or yak fishing is all you are going to use it for...it's a good option. I already know how to get to the Cape...so extra maps aren't important to me. Hope this is helpful.
Ron
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:32 PM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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thanks guys - I will get the basic venture one then - currently on sale for $140
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:41 PM
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The GPS for the flats is good for certain things...but keep in mind that the flats boaters , atleast the ones I have been with don't use the GPS while fishing the flats... they use eyesight in clear water and the depth finder in murky. They know , or can see the rips and currents.....If the fog moves in, and it's bad, they have bouy waypoints set and in their systems....one other thing that happens to everyone using the GPS is that you simply forget to set your waypoints on a given day..... a clear day, nice weather.. then a fog comes in and you have to look at older waypoints or if you are in a difficult spot you set the "go to" to a waypoint you set on a previous trip which takes you to the shore. But that leaves you crossing channels you would hope to avoid. (providing you are in a different spot) I forget all the time in the heat of the moment of "I got to get out there now". You just don't stop every 50 feet to set a waypoint or think to do it at a high bar.You know the feeling, start as soon as you can whether it's casting or studying the situation. Then walking all over the place....the fog moves in... and you are looking for waypoints close to you... which does not always help.

In the days before GPS handhelds you would carry a compass, and should still do that , since the batteries die out quickly. If you don't have a compass, and you can still see the "light" area from the sun you will need to work with that. Since , for example, I know where the sun path is at South beach and Monomoy, I know that it will rise over my right shoulder... and I check my watch at the shore line for the time... Anytime , say before 11:30 AM, the path is the same till this method becomes useless at noon...if you are hit with fog then... Also, at high tide don't rely on the sound of boats which you might think are moving in the channel opposit from the shore...sound in fog is deceptive plus the boats can actually be moving behind you, between you and the shore.....................so, do as Ron did..flag down a clammer and promise him several beers at the Squire .

Last edited by striblue; 03-06-2008 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:01 PM
Paxton Paxton is offline
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John....one thing I learned that day was to respect fog. It was a blue bird day....around 11 a.m. I saw a bank of fog at least 3 to 4 miles away offshore.....I said to myself...."I better keep an eye on it"...about 5 minutes later I was surrounded by it.....it didn't move, it just formed in front of my eyes.
My philosophy now is.....see fog in the distance...get the hell to shore, screw the GPS...hope I never have to use it in fog.
Last summer I saw 3 guys go towards the crib when fog was clearly visible in the not too distant and tide was just beginning to rise.......45 minutes later I heard yelling....voices carry real good in fog.....saw them come out....they looked terrified, as they should have been. Not sure what would have happened to them if it was 3 hours into the incoming.
Ron
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:26 PM
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striblue striblue is offline
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Ron, I could not agree more....the thing is, if you do venture out, it would be great at a high tide, so you never lose touch with the shore and there are fish there. The reason clammers just cruise along, besides the fact that they know the area well, is that they probably just don't expect to see anyone out there in those conditions. Atleast the crib has a obvious channel.... so long as you are close to it.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:22 PM
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juro juro is offline
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I have the etrex and garmin wristband rechargeable. Both work well, topo is useless as Keith said unless you want to use the unit in other situations on terra firma.

I carry spare batteries sealed with a vaccum sealer as well.

I've relied on it when I visit other destinations I am not familiar with like the pacific northwest or the tropics, especially when renting a boat or kayak. I've used mine from Acklins to British Columbia in this way.

You should download GPS trackmaker (free) and download your paths (breadcrumb trails) over each other year to year on the PC. I use a different color per year.

It's obvious where the fish were because you will see squiggles instead of straight lines

A few notes:

- make sure it's waterproof
- some models do not give cardinal direction unless you are moving
- unless you are using track mode it's only as good as the waypoints you mark
- track mode can clutter and confuse so use it judiciously
- if you take the wrong path out then the cookie crumbs will lead you back the wrong way too
- although WAAS has been opened up there is still a margin of error involved
- choose a convention for naming your waypoints and stick to it

and finally... pray that the designers at Apple get interested in a next generation GPS because the user interfaces SUCK!

Juro
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:46 AM
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Warren Warren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro

and finally... pray that the designers at Apple get interested in a next generation GPS because the user interfaces SUCK!

Juro
LOL Juro, so eloquently and accurately put
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:06 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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A couple of things about Garmin. I own the Legend C which is the color version of the one Striblue has. It seems that every year Garmin makes model changes and with every new feature so figure in about a year and half your model might be discontinued. The GPS market is similar to the camera market, changes every year.
I bought the topo software which is where Garmin makes a lot of money . However, even thought it's not that accurate it neat to see the overall picture of where your fishing. I guess we fishermen are all gear heads.

So now the cat out of the bag. Don't take the Rip Ryder if the good captain has spent the night at the Squire or we might run aground.
FishHawk
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:57 AM
Guernseybass Guernseybass is offline
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John - I have always carried a compass in my pack and still will.

as to the sun, if its faintly visible i can navigate by my watch.

the sun is due south at 1200 hrs, ie when the hour hand is on the 12. so at any other time point the current hour hand at the sun and then the direction of 12 will give you South and conversely 6 will be North, and you can navigate by that.

you'd be amazed at the amount of times i've used that in cities, let alone on terrain


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